May 6, 2020 / 6:26 AM / 25 days ago

METALS-London copper at highest in nearly a week on easing virus restrictions

 (Updates prices)
    By Mai Nguyen
    SINGAPORE, May 6 (Reuters) - London copper prices scaled a
near one-week high on Wednesday, as the easing of
coronavirus-induced restrictions globally raised hopes of higher
demand for metals.
    Benchmark three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange
(LME)         was up 1.1% at $5,213 a tonne, as of 0710 GMT,
having hit its highest since April 30 at $5,219 a tonne earlier
in the session.
    The LME contract has climbed back to the same level seen
before Chinese traders went on a break for Labour Day holidays
between May 1-5.   
    The most-traded June copper contract on the Shanghai Futures
Exchange (ShFE)          closed down 0.3% at 42,720 yuan
($6,027.00) a tonne on its first trading day following the
    "Economies re-opening news is getting the upper hand. The
quantity of imported copper, the import arbitrage and the
currency are supportive of being long copper," said a metals
    "Fundamentally, the infrastructure bonds that the Chinese
are issuing is the leading indicator of demand, so (copper) is
due for higher prices ahead," the trader said. 
    Some countries have unveiled plans to gradually remove
restrictions that were imposed to contain the coronavirus
outbreak, and governments around the world have announced
stimulus programmes to support their ailing economies.
    Copper, used as a gauge of global economic health, has
leaped 19% on the LME since March 19, when the contract hit a
45-month low, on improving demand from top consumer China,
supply concerns and hopes for a pickup in the global economy.
    LME copper, however, has lost 16% so far this year, as
demand for the red metal comes under pressure from what many
analysts describe as a long and bumpy road to economic recovery
after the pandemic. 
    * FREEPORT: Freeport-McMoRan Inc         is planning to
reassess operations at a New Mexico copper mine that has been
temporarily shuttered due to the COVID-19, a spokeswoman said.
    * GILEAD: Gilead Sciences Inc          said on Tuesday it
was in discussions with chemical and drug manufacturers to
produce its experimental COVID-19 drug, remdesivir.             
    * OTHER PRICES: LME aluminium         was almost unchanged
at $1,484 a tonne, nickel         advanced 1.7% to $12,200 a
tonne and zinc         climbed 0.8% to $1,932.50 a tonne.
    * SHFE PRICES: ShFE aluminium          hit a seven-week high
of 12,760 yuan a tonne, nickel          rose 0.7% to 101,350
yuan a tonne, while zinc          climbed 0.7% to 16,485 yuan a
    * For the top stories in metals and other news, click       

$1 = 7.0881 yuan)

 (Reporting by Mai Nguyen, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips,
Aditya Soni)
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